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Press Releases

Call to Assist in Rainforest Restoration at Towra Point

16 November 1998

Sutherland Shire Environment Centre and National Parks and Wildlife Service have launched a joint initiative to liberate a rare pocket of rainforest at Towra Point Nature Reserve from thickets of encroaching weeds and are seeking community participation in the project.

The project is funded by Coastcare, a Federal-State-Local Government initiative.

"This project provides an ideal opportunity for the community to become actively involved in rehabilitating part of Sydney's most significant wetland," said Environment Centre Projects Officer, Simon Kimberley. "Towra Point is a community asset not just for the Shire but for the whole of Sydney."

"The objective of the project is to remove extensive areas of lantana and replant them with native species to allow the stand of rainforest and a freshwater wetland to regenerate. Progressive weed removal will also create a corridor of rehabilitated bushland linking two shorelines of the Reserve," a NPWS spokesperson said

"Remnant littoral rainforest is rare in the Sydney region and indeed the NSW Scientific Committee has recently supported a proposal to list the littoral rainforest of Sutherland Shire as an endangered ecological community."

"We have organised a major working bee for Sunday 22 November and Sunday 6 December 1998 and we're sure that those people who attend will have a very rewarding and enjoyable day," Mr Kimberley said

"We have so far had assistance from individuals and from groups such as Como-Jannali Rotaract Club. We would especially welcome volunteers from other community organisations."

People interested in participating can contact Simon Kimberley at the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre on 9545 3077.

World Wetlands Day/Week

2-6 February 1998

To celebrate World Wetlands Day and Week, the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre is pleased to announce that it has been successful in obtaining a grant of $12,500 from Coastcare to assist in coordinating weed eradication in the internationally significant wetlands of Towra Point Nature Reserve.

Towra Point Nature Reserve, located on the southern shores of Botany Bay just west of Kurnell, is an excellent example of a complete estuarine wetland system, having a variety of diverse ecosystems including mangroves, saltmarsh, seagrasses, casuarina forest and even small pockets of littoral rainforest. It is on the Ramsar list as a wetland of international importance and provides a habitat for migratory birds such as the Little Tern. Unfortunately it has a significant noxious weeds problem.

The weeding program, to be established via the Coastcare grant, will supplement the existing volunteer activities in the Reserve which are being conducted by National Parks and Wildlife Service.. It will also provide an opportunity to trial new weed control techniques using the latest research and represents a chance for the Environment Centre to reinforce its cooperative relationship not only with NPWS but with other groups such as the National Parks Association and Wildlife Preservation Society who have also had an interest in Towra.

"The Environment Centre has been actively involved in the management of Towra Point Nature Reserve since mid 1996 through activites such as organising regular meetings of interested parties, assisting with bush regeneration and coordinating projects such as the sandbagging at Towra Lagoon", Environment Centre Projects Officer Simon Kimberley said. "This next project represents a good opportunity to keep the momentum going."

"The Centre was overwhelmed by the community's response to our sandbagging project at Towra Lagoon, which will be completed shortly, and we look forward to hearing from any volunteers interested in participating in the new project."

Towra Point is a very special area and one in which the residents of the whole of southern Sydney should take an interest.

If you would like any more information about Towra Point or about how to get involved in conservation activities, please contact the Environment Centre on 9545 3077 or NPWS on 9668 9111.

The Great Wall of Towra

1 September, 1997

School students join the Sand Bag project to help save historic Towra lagoon.

School students from Woolooware High School will be assisting with sandbagging at Towra Point Nature Reserve on Tuesday 9th September.

Big new wave energies are destroying Towra beach sending saltwater into Towra lagoon, which is just behind the beach. This is the historic lagoon that Captain Cook mapped in 1770.

Bernie Clarke and the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre (SSEC) are coordinating this emergency sandbag barrier project with funds provided by the NSW EPA through its Environmental Trust Grants. Further assistance has been provided by the Department of Land and Water Conservation and National Parks and Wildlife Service.

A group of volunteers began the sandbagging on Saturday 6th September.

Students will be assembling at Bonna Point at the end of Prince Charles Parade, Kurnell at 8.00am and 11.00am for transport by barge to the site.

Photo and filming opportunites will exist when students are boarding the barge, during the boat trip to the site and during the sandbagging itself. Shots of the lagoon, the beach (including evidence of beach erosion ie. dead and dying trees), the wetlands, mudflats and mangroves of Towra Point and their associated birdlife as well as shots of the wall taking shape can be easily accessed.

Interview opportunites will exist with Bernie Clarke (Project Leader), Simon Kimberley (Project Officer, SSEC), Bob Walshe (Chairman, SSEC), school teachers and National Parks and Wildlife Service staff on site during the day.

For more information please contact the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre on 9545 3077

This project is being assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trusts
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